The Fighting - this is a brief summary
The battle of Chateau Thierry is part of the preliminary German offensive which began in May 1918 and continued through July and August 1918 and which is generally known as 'The Second Battle of the Marne'
On 27 May 1918 Ludendorff began an offensive toward Reims which was designed both to capture the city and to be a feint for an attack to be made in Flanders. Though the Americans had had intelligence warnings of an attack in the area these were not taken seriously by the British or French Higher Commands and the Allies were caught by surprise. By mid-day the Germans had crossed the River Aisne and by the end of theday they were over the River Vesle.
As the Germans advanced further their front began to narrow between the Rivers Ourcq and Marne and at its point were the Americans at Chateau Thierry.
There on 1 June the Americans of the 3rd Division (their Memorial is in the town) blew the bridge over the River Marne just as the Germans arrived causing the invaders to switch their attention northwards towards Belleau Wood.
The wood was the scene of fierce and desperate fighting in which the United States Marine Corps stopped the enemy advance and where today lie memorials to the Corps and the Devil Dog Fountain where each year Marines go to drink.